Why Verizon does not rule the world (or does it?) …

I log on to the website and run into the first difficulty. Can’t find any information about what kind of contract we have (even though I am logged in as the account holder). And no information on how to remove a phone line. Plenty of information on how to buy new things of course. I use the handy online chat feature and ask them how do I remove a phone line. "Oh you have to call Customer Support for that!"

So much for doing things online. So I call Customer Support. And of course get to play with menus. First menu choice is number 4 as in "Other…" When you choose that, it asks you to state what you are looking for. So I tell the machine I want to remove a phone line from my account. It asks me "Do you want to remove account features?". This is sort of what I am looking for so I say yes. Wrong choice of course. So go through another few selections to get back to this point and this time answer no. Also apparently the wrong answer. A few choices later I end up actually talking to a human (not quite clear how I got there this time). I explain that my dad, who has Alzheimer’s, is the actual account holder. He doesn’t use his phone anymore; doesn’t in fact know HOW to use a phone any more. He hasn’t used it in two years. I am planning on upgrading the other phones but want to get rid of this line so we are not paying for something we are not actually using any more. The answer of course is "I am sorry to hear your dad has Alzheimer’s. But only an  account manager can make a change like this and he is the only account manager on file with us. He can add you as an account manager by logging on to the website. I explain that he actually cannot do this, that it would be me doing it anyway. But of course that did not matter.

I log into the appropriate site (which incidentally is actually a different site than I am already logged into, with totally different login information, forgotten of course. So had to play the whole redo the password game – as my dad. Get myself added in as an Account Manager (requiring adding in a whole NEW password), and eventually get back on the phone to Customer Support. This time I have learned my lesson. I immediately dial ‘0’ when the menu comes up, which of course asks me to state my desire. I distinctly say "I would like to talk to a human." And lo and behold it actually worked.

This helpful gentleman helpfully removed the unneeded phone number as he helpfully tried to convince me to keep it. Helpfully added at the end how it has a $100 credit towards upgrading, said credit of course only usable on the number that I was now getting rid of.

""Only an hour and a half or so into my attempt to give Verizon more money, I now log back into the original site, and choose to upgrade the remaining two phones. Pick my fancy new phone with appropriate accessories and add ons. Then mom’s. Then get to a screen that asks me if I wanted a new number or to transfer from another carrier. Since I was going for option three, which basically was keep the phone numbers we had and just get new equipment, I was a bit confused. Back again to the chat feature, where I asked why I need to input my account information when I had actually been upgrading FROM my account. Was told that I had somehow been logged out mid-order. So I logged back in again, and went through the process again. This time it did not ask me anything about accounts. I told my helpful friend this, and he said that’s great, to which I replied "Not really because I had to do it all over again. But thank you."

I continue to check out. Cover how I want to pay. Get to the summary screen that has the nice little Submit Order button. Which I click on expectantly. And then again. And again. Nothing happens. I try the whole process over again with the same result.

Back to chat I go. Get another very helpful woman who unfortunately gets the brunt of my dissatisfaction with the process to this point. Have a nice conversation with said helpful woman that included such helpful information as "The website works best on Microsoft Internet Explorer" which is extremely ironic since Verizon has a very strong partnership with the iPhone, a Mac product. And I am doing this from a Mac. Eventually it is suggested with many an apology that I call the Telesales line. I point out that this kind of defeats the whole point of doing things online, but I will since I actually still what to give Verizon my money. Crazy me.

Just for the hell of it I try doing the order through again and strangely it works this time. So about 4 hours, 2 phone calls and 3 chat sessions later I finally had two new phones, one less phone line and a monthly charge of about $40 MORE than I had before.

I will have to admit, doing things online makes it SOOOOO much easier.